The little-loved sculptor and painter took his revenge with a dizzying bid before a graceful sconce by Jean Royère calmed things down.
Baccio Bandinelli (1488-1560), Project for a colossal sculpture of Admiral Andrea Doria as Neptune, pen and brown ink, black chalk, 42.7 x 28.6 cm.
Baccio Bandinelli’s contemporaries, and some historians, tarnished his reputation while acknowledging his undeniable talent. The reappearance of this pen, brown ink and black stone drawing, a Project for a colossal statue of Admiral Andrea Doria as Neptune, cleared his name. After a fierce bidding war, a foreign connoisseur bought it for €815,995, far outstripping the maximum estimate of €80,000 and undoubtedly setting a world record not only for a work on paper by the artist, breaking the previous one held by Nus masculins debout (Standing Male Nudes), which sold for €331,400 at Artcurial in Paris on 27 March 2019, but also in all media combined (source: Artnet). The majestic drawing is the project for a statue the Republic of Genoa commissioned Bandinelli to make in 1528. Unfortunately for the history of art, the unstable artist seems to have abandoned the block of marble when it was barely hewn.